Following a tumultuous start to the year, direct-to-consumer athletic brand Outdoor Voices has been infused with more money and undergone another leadership shakeup.
Ashley Merrill, co-founder and CEO of luxury sleepwear brand Lunya, has taken over as chairwoman of the board of directors from previous chairman Mickey Drexler. Merrill is also bringing an undisclosed investment to Outdoor Voices—which was losing $2 million per month in 2019, according to a Business of Fashion report—through her firm NaHCO3.
Interim CEO Cliff Moskowitz has also moved on, a spokesperson said. The company continues to search for a permanent replacement for co-founder Tyler Haney, who stepped down from her role as CEO in February.
Haney has remained a member of the board throughout the process, said a spokesperson, despite resigning from her founder role shortly after giving up the CEO slot. She recently returned to a more active role following maternity leave.
Merrill, who launched Lunya in 2014, will work closely with the Outdoor Voices executive team at the board level. As a longtime customer and fan of the brand, Merrill said she is “thrilled to be joining Team OV and look forward to bringing my experiences at Lunya to help build a healthy, sustainable business that drives value for our team, customers and community.”
According to a report by Vogue, Merrill watched the implosion of Outdoor Voices earlier this year with an “unstated kinship” that she said she feels with a lot of female entrepreneurs. Following what was reported to be a fraught relationship with Drexler, Haney expressed hope that Merrill’s involvement will mark a new chapter for the brand. “I’m very excited to have Ashley on team OV and a reset board that I believe will be very successful together,” she told Vogue.
Despite the pressure that the coronavirus pandemic has put on the industry, Outdoor Voices recently launched a partnership with cycling brand Rapha and has continued its online community engagement with more virtual programming.
“We are dedicated to our pursuit of freeing fitness from performance by making daily recreation fun and accessible to all,” said Phillip Niels, a member of the Outdoor Voices board, adding that the company is making positive progress in “a challenging retail environment.”
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